By Elizabeth Shandy
on June 23, 2022
Our next Partner Spotlight is Rob Poettgen, President of Bordner Home Improvement. Rob is an Acumen partner in our CEO team, Ignite led by Growth Catalyst, Scott Stanger.
By Scott Stanger
on June 16, 2022
Growing up, my father’s favorite saying was, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
By Augie Grasis
on June 09, 2022
In August every year, Weatherby Lake hosts the Jeremey Katzenberger Memorial Triathlon, an event honoring a fallen Army Ranger who grew up here. In yesterday’s planning meeting for the 2022 event, ...
By Elizabeth Shandy
on June 02, 2022
About a year ago when things were getting back to semi-normal, I decided it was time to get back into fitness. I was a new mom thrown into a pandemic, and I desperately needed to get to a gym for my ...
By Dan Cooper
on May 26, 2022
In December of last year, we were quoting McKinsey research: “Two-thirds of employees quit jobs without a new job lined up. Among those likely to exit, 60 percent said they are leaving in the next ...
By Augie Grasis
on May 19, 2022
I hardly turn on the TV anymore. Bad news everywhere. Ukraine. The Border—is it closed or open? Oil prices are through the roof, and Inflation is at record highs. Interest rates are up, and the ...
By Elizabeth Shandy
on May 12, 2022
Our next Partner Spotlight is Brent Blacklock, Partner with TPP Certified Public Accountants, LLC. Brent is a partner in our Acumen key executive team, Premier. 
By Elizabeth Shandy
on May 05, 2022
What do you think of when you hear the word “Accountability?”
By Dan Cooper
on April 28, 2022
The succession plan for Moses was pretty simple. You stay here, and we’ve got the next guy in line ready to take over as CEO of Israel, Joshua.
By Elizabeth Shandy
on April 15, 2022
This month we are highlighting, Ryan Warman, Chief Operating Officer with Pearce Construction. Ryan is a partner in the key executive Acumen team, Ascend. 
By Dan Cooper
on April 08, 2022
Are you and your business being held hostage?
By Elizabeth Shandy
on March 25, 2022
This month we are highlighting Acumen partner, Jessica Ray, Executive Director of GOEX Apparel. Jessica celebrates her five-year anniversary this month and is part of the key-executive team, Ascend, ...
By Elizabeth Shandy
on March 11, 2022
How often do you see a doctor to check up on your health? Maybe once a year? Or when you’re forced to stop ignoring the problem? People are not healthy all the time. The same is true for your team ...
By Dan Cooper
on February 17, 2022
I read this week, “Boldness builds leadership. Rashness destroys it.”
By Elizabeth Shandy
on February 03, 2022
It's with great excitement that we kick off a new series to our blog: Partner Spotlight Series will highlight members in our community with their business ventures while sharing their stories and ...
By Dan Cooper
on January 21, 2022
I’ve long been a fan of annual letters for their ability to show a different side of a business, leadership team, and reality about what’s going on. So as I begin my season as CEO, I decided to kick ...
By Drew Hiss
on January 06, 2022
Ten years ago, I began a journey to help other CEOs and owners engage in a very unique community that would help them avoid some of the stupid (and expensive) mistakes I made and minefields I stepped ...
By Elizabeth Shandy
on December 10, 2021
This year was record-breaking, with more than 19 million US workers (and counting) quitting their jobs and moving on to something else. This leaves the war on talent even more crucial in the new ...
By Drew Hiss
on November 12, 2021
I have been an entrepreneur and business owner nearly my entire professional career. It has been a journey of incredible high’s and low’s; victories and defeats; life lessons and stories of impact. ...
By Dan Cooper
on November 03, 2021
Do I have to make every decision?
By Elizabeth Shandy
on October 21, 2021
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and realized you had done all the talking? Or are you quick to jump to conclusions? One way or another, we have all been there and had a ...
By Elizabeth Shandy
on October 08, 2021
Acumen president, Dan Cooper joins Fred Herron on “Spirituality Adventures” and shares his insightful entrepreneurial journey and Acumen’s catalytic community. Learn how plain glass before stain ...
By Dan Cooper
on September 23, 2021
Hiring is hard.
By Dan Cooper
on September 10, 2021
This question came up in a recent Acumen Council. One partner was asking, “Am I ready? Can I do it? Am I capable?”
By Dan Cooper
on August 12, 2021
Plan. Do. Celebrate. Rest.
By Dan Cooper
on July 29, 2021
There was a small fire on the roof that was starting to spread. My father had the hose out, trying to keep it from spreading faster while waiting for the fire truck to show up, which seemed to be ...
By Greg Finley
on July 16, 2021
If you lead within any organization, toss aside the latest best seller and simply tune in to the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso.
By Dan Cooper
on June 25, 2021
One of the leaders of our teams had a “NoVid” party.
By Dan Cooper
on May 27, 2021
Over the last six years, Acumen has built a community of CEOs and Owners in Kansas City to create a more significant impact and influence for all constituents.
By Dan Cooper
on May 26, 2021
In our house, we call the month of May, Mayhem.
By Dan Cooper
on May 14, 2021
Do they trust you?
By Dan Cooper
on April 30, 2021
My wife Ali has a great sense of smell. I think it goes back to when she was pregnant and could smell frozen fruit from a mile away. Who can smell frozen fruit? It’s frozen! I think she ate most of ...
By Dan Cooper
on April 16, 2021
“I would love this business … if it didn’t have people in it.”
By Dan Cooper
on April 01, 2021
Easter always makes me think about renewal. The old is gone; the new has come. Spring is here. The light at the end of the tunnel with the “pandemic who should not be named” is refreshing.
By Dan Cooper
on March 19, 2021
When have you had your last best idea? When do you have moments of clarity that help solve your toughest challenges?
By Dan Cooper
on March 03, 2021
How humble are you … really?
By Dan Cooper
on February 19, 2021
Founding a company is hard. Creating something out of nothing based upon your limited expertise, your investment of time, money, and resources can take everything you have. You build your business ...
By Dan Cooper
on February 05, 2021
What would it be like to lead two million people as your first CEO job, and heck your first job in leadership?
By Dan Cooper
on January 21, 2021
I don’t think I have to go too far out on a limb to say that we are in a leadership crisis at the top of our biggest and most high-profile organizations – public, private, and non-profit.
By Dan Cooper
on December 24, 2020
I do my worst work in isolation. When I find myself solving problems, dealing with challenges, parsing out situations in my head – and only MY head, I find my decisions and outlook on the world is ...
By Dan Cooper
on December 11, 2020
I know what you are thinking.
By acumenadmin
on November 27, 2020
This is from a response from a newsletter reader to our blog last week, How to Assess Your Leadership Fires, where we broke down the acronym F.I.R.E.S. to help you start planning for 2021.
By Dan Cooper
on November 13, 2020
You can only grow your business as big as you grow yourself. Julia Pimsleur
By Dan Cooper
on October 15, 2020
I got two letters in the mail last month that were baffling. They came together in the same envelope. I read them six times and still wasn’t sure what was true. In fact, after reading them, I had ...
By Dan Cooper
on October 01, 2020
“And then I found myself pointing at the clerk and strongly telling her my mask WAS on all the way. How can I try on glasses if the mask is up to the top of my nose?”
By Dan Cooper
on September 18, 2020
My favorite tweet theme (and LinkedIn now for that matter) currently goes something like this: “In order to be awesome, I read a book a week.”
By Dan Cooper
on August 20, 2020
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
By Dan Cooper
on August 06, 2020
I had an interesting company exit when I sold our company. (cue egos and lawyers) One day I was the CEO. The next day, I wasn’t. No party, no handshakes, or fist bumps. I couldn’t let the team know ...
By Dan Cooper
on July 23, 2020
When you invest time and money into something you expect a return. Me too.
By Dan Cooper
on July 09, 2020
nor·mal /ˈnôrməl/ the usual, average, or typical state or condition. – Oxford dictionary
By Dan Cooper
on June 25, 2020
“Powerful people have a hard time listening to payroll people, don’t they?” – Andy Stanley
By Dan Cooper
on June 10, 2020
In the Acumen community, 20% of our partner companies went to zero revenue in the shutdown. Over half lost between 20-40% of revenue. Then there was the lucky 20% that didn’t have enough hours in a ...
By Dan Cooper
on May 29, 2020
I had lunch at an actual restaurant with a client last week. We sat on the patio. It was awesome. It was the first time either of us had been outside “in real life” since all this began. OK – enough ...
By Dan Cooper
on May 14, 2020
In these unprecedented times …
By Dan Cooper
on May 01, 2020
One of the discussions we’re currently having on our now weekly CEO team calls is “what does leadership look like now?” How do we replace the emergency room triage feel of the last 6 weeks and ...
By Dan Cooper
on March 19, 2020
Well that happened fast, didn’t it?
By Dan Cooper
on March 05, 2020
Is the sky starting to fall?
By Dan Cooper
on February 21, 2020
The F in CFO doesn’t have to mean Friction.
By Dan Cooper
on February 06, 2020
For some reason, this has become a theme in early 2020.
By Dan Cooper
on January 10, 2020
Reluctantly, I showed up on Saturday to this “retreat.” It was an invitation from a friend and I’d been asked half a dozen times to participate over the years. In a moment of weakness I said yes. It ...
By Dan Cooper
on December 26, 2019
It’s the end of the decade.
By Dan Cooper
on December 13, 2019
As we talked about in a blog earlier this year that it’s outcomes, not output for you as you rise the ranks of leadership, the discussion is coming up more often – so what do I do? Yes, there is more ...
By Drew Hiss
on November 27, 2019
The recent write up my business partner, Dan Cooper lobbed out there entitled “All Entrepreneurs Are Liars,” hurt, didn’t it? I talked to a handful of entrepreneurs who bristled when they first read ...
By Drew Hiss
on November 14, 2019
What’s the significance of the number 613 you ask?
By Dan Cooper
on October 31, 2019
One of my CEO teams went on our annual adventure trip we call Outbound last week. The team visited the Hoy family’s Flying W Ranch in the Flint Hills; 7000 acres of rustic Kansas that is home to long ...
By Dan Cooper
on October 03, 2019
It’s the final three months of the year. Are you ramping up, winding down, buckling in, jumping off, grinding, sprinting, resting?
By Dan Cooper
on September 22, 2019
We’re excited to share an excerpt from our new book “Sharpen: A Guidebook for Business Ownership and Adventures in Leadership”
By Dan Cooper
on September 17, 2019
“You did what?”
By Augie Grasis
on September 05, 2019
“He said it was MY fault. You’ve got to love engineers because they are so direct.”
By Dan Cooper
on August 23, 2019
All these quotes on twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. Man,  you’d think we’d be the most motivated wise and loving people on earth. As I scrolled down the feed the other day, I saw two quotes ...
By Dan Cooper
on August 08, 2019
I’ve read many articles, blogs and books on the concept of work-life balance. Heck, I’ve written them too specifically around harmony, and an assessment called the wheel of reality. I was recently ...
By Dan Cooper
on July 26, 2019
Do you have some character traits that are “sharp” and perhaps could use some rounded edges?
By Dan Cooper
on June 27, 2019
Do you ever notice how infatuated we get by stories? People binge stories. Think gossip, Netflix, internet clickbait. Think America’s Got Talent, The Voice, The Bachelorette (Yes, it’s still on), ...
By Dan Cooper
on June 20, 2019
Guess what!?! It’s almost halfway through the year. I know, right? Now is a great time to do a mid-year check-in.
By Dan Cooper
on June 13, 2019
Knowledge is not power. Sharing knowledge is power. General Stanley Mc Chrystal
By Drew Hiss
on June 04, 2019
I can officially say I survived an EF-4 tornado. Our home and neighborhood were directly in the path. Full brunt! We had plenty of warning and could see it coming our way. We have a decent storm ...
By Dan Cooper
on May 30, 2019
“Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash flow is king.” Verne Harnish
By Dan Cooper
on May 23, 2019
Have you ever thought, “How can they still not get it?”
By Dan Cooper
on May 16, 2019
Leadership is Inefficient – and That’s OK
By Dan Cooper
on May 09, 2019
My partnership breakup was messy.
By Dan Cooper
on May 02, 2019
After reading hundreds of business and leadership books over dozens of years, I found that there are similar themes written differently and a changing focus based on the changing times. It makes ...
By Drew Hiss
on April 18, 2019
I recently got to hang out with some old college buds down in Phoenix. As is often the case when we go to Phoenix in the winter/spring season, hiking was on the itinerary. The Valley of the Sun is ...
By Dan Cooper
on April 12, 2019
“You can have control, or you can have growth, but you can’t have both.” Craig Groeschel
By Dan Cooper
on April 05, 2019
Last week I had a client tell me he felt guilty if he came in late to the office. Even if it was for a business breakfast with a center of influence or longtime business associate turned friend. Then ...
By Dan Cooper
on March 29, 2019
We painted every room in our house when we first moved in. It needed it. The colors were wrong, and it just felt old.  The before and after was like those house fixer-upper shows. It was like a new ...
By Dan Cooper
on March 22, 2019
How did you come of age in your company?
By Dan Cooper
on March 15, 2019
As teenagers, my parents forced us to talk about what we learned that day at dinner (the horror). Also as teenagers, we had bad speaking habits. One of them was the word “like.” Like was a word that ...
By Drew Hiss
on March 07, 2019
I had the privilege of attending a “White Coat” ceremony that my daughter participated in during her first semester as a nursing student. Initially, I thought that the ceremony might be ...
By Dan Cooper
on February 28, 2019
The entire Acumen community gets together with their leadership teams ever quarter to connect, get sharper, challenge the status quo, and be inspired by others ideas and best practices.
By Dan Cooper
on February 22, 2019
I got to the point that I couldn’t do it all anymore. In the small office we started the business in, I was the salesman, graphic designer, videographer, editor, IT, and the janitor.
By Dan Cooper
on February 14, 2019
I am a snowboarder … Like my father before me.
By Dan Cooper
on February 08, 2019
At Acumen, Drew and I wrestle with the “Plain Glass vs. Stain Glass” question a lot.
By Dan Cooper
on January 30, 2019
If you were going to be stabbed, wouldn’t you like to see it coming? That way, you would know who is stabbing you and perhaps be able to defend yourself.
By Dan Cooper
on January 23, 2019
Where do you want to go to dinner?
By Dan Cooper
on January 17, 2019
I woke up to the morning snow last week and marveled at the beautiful snowscape. Everything was covered in 6 inches of snow (12 inches if you were my youngest). I then let the dog out and followed ...
By Dan Cooper
on January 09, 2019
Seth Godin Recently wrote a blog about the 10X person.
By Drew Hiss
on January 04, 2019
It’s all about gratitude. Gratitude feeds the soul and is the beginning of joy. At our first Acumen meeting of the year, we talked about what we learned and what we were grateful for in 2018, and ...
By Dan Cooper
on December 20, 2018
I love this time of year for self-reflection. There’s always room to revisit your personal strategic plan. One of the big questions I’ve been asking of clients (and myself) is: What did you learn ...
By Dan Cooper
on December 14, 2018
During this time of the holidays I’ve found that more people are stressed out, depressed, lonely, tired, worn out, burned out, and the complete opposite of what the “world” tells us this time of year ...
By Dan Cooper
on December 07, 2018
I love the Nutcracker ballet. Yes, I am a man.
By Dan Cooper
on November 30, 2018
We had “SNOWMAGGEDON” on Sunday in Kansas City, and the kids were off school on Monday. Most businesses started late as well. What a treat, an extra day after Thanksgiving for all of us to be ...
By Drew Hiss
on November 18, 2018
It’s one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Holidays, people off work, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the family you want to shop with or a reason to get out of the house.
By Dan Cooper
on November 15, 2018
Obvious truth: This world is hard. Life is unfair.
By Dan Cooper
on November 09, 2018
Do you remember the first company you worked at that taught you how NOT to run a company, treat people, serve customers, and lead?
By Dan Cooper
on October 31, 2018
My parents were in this weekend and, like grandparents may do, my Dad told a “Dan story” to my kids. When he talks, they listen. I can’t wait to be a grandparent to get that superpower.
By Dan Cooper
on October 25, 2018
Last week we had friend of the community and Referral Coach, Stacey Brown Randall, in to discuss how to create a process to generate more referrals with a group of Acumen CEOs and owners.
By Drew Hiss
on October 19, 2018
Our firm’s office lease was due to expire in about six months, so we began the process of evaluating new office space. I distinctly remember walking into a vacant space that we were considering. The ...
By Dan Cooper
on October 19, 2018
It was the first time I was recognized publicly. I had just joined a technology company as an inside salesperson. Part of onboarding was to work for a week in tech support. Answering phones made me ...
By Dan Cooper
on October 03, 2018
I have been a member OrangeTheory Fitness for about a year and half now (no they did not pay me to say that). I was working out today and marveling at how they keep me interested in coming back. A ...
By Dan Cooper
on September 18, 2018
It was the day before the three partners were going to our lawyer’s office to finalize our partnership separation. It was up in the air about who was going to own the company at the end of the ...
By Dan Cooper
on September 10, 2018
“I reply to my emails within 10 minutes if not sooner. My team loves it. My clients always know that they come first.”
By Dan Cooper
on September 04, 2018
I usually write to the CEO and the Owner. Today, I write to you as a part of the team, a parishioner.
By Dan Cooper
on August 29, 2018
The old adage of “wherever you go, there you are” is certainly true. When you are going 1,000 miles an hour and earning your Busy Badge, you may not be working towards real progress. I’ve worn that ...
By Dan Cooper
on August 14, 2018
HOW TO IMPROVE COMPANY CULTURE WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
By Dan Cooper
on August 08, 2018
SUICIDE SUCKS. FIND A CIRCLE. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17
By Drew Hiss
on August 01, 2018
TO OWNERS WHO WANT TO OFFER EQUITY: OWNER BEWARE! We had yet another discussion in a monthly Acumen team regarding a strained partnership. It was a classic case of miscommunication, false ...
By Dan Cooper
on July 24, 2018
DO YOU MAKE THESE MISTAKES WHEN TEXTING YOUR TEAM? Have you added texting to your media mix when you communicate with your team? Leaders are embracing texting over other mediums to connect and ...
By Drew Hiss
on July 17, 2018
Solitude>Gratitude>Attitude>Altitude. In my previous write up, I confessed that I didn’t have an attitude switch… and that if I sought “altitude”, a healthy attitude would be essential.
By Drew Hiss
on July 10, 2018
Solitude>Gratitude>Attitude>Altitude. In my previous write-up, I confessed that I didn’t have an attitude switch… and that if I sought “altitude,” a healthy attitude would be essential.
By Drew Hiss
on June 26, 2018
Solitude>Gratitude>Attitude>Altitude. In my previous write-up, I confessed that I didn’t have an attitude switch…and that if I sought “altitude”, a healthy attitude would be essential. I’ve ...
By Drew Hiss
on June 19, 2018
4ti‘tudes? What kind of word derivative is that? Another clever cliché attempt? Perhaps yes! Years and years ago I was encouraged that, “Your altitude will be determined by your attitude.” Great ...
By Dan Cooper
on June 13, 2018
Has everyone seen Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” video? Good. (If not, It’s at the end of this post)
By Dan Cooper
on May 21, 2018
What kind of ship always sinks?
By Dan Cooper
on May 07, 2018
I was at our quarterly Advance Leadership Workshop this week. The facilitator had us in groups of two discussing a simple problem. My partner for the experience was talking about his daughter and how ...
By Dan Cooper
on March 19, 2018
“The only difference between a rut and a grave is depth.”
By Dan Cooper
on January 08, 2018
Zig Ziglar has a great bit he does on a million dollar racehorse. He asks his audience if they owned a million dollar racehorse, would they let it go out drinking half the night and eat junk food. Of ...
By Drew Hiss
on January 02, 2018
It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas Vacation. Hard to put these two flicks in any sort of similar category other than “my two favorite Christmas movies.” Both for very different reasons (obviously)!
By Dan Cooper
on November 13, 2017
As we head into the busiest time of the year for a lot of you, here is a public service announcement.
By Dan Cooper
on October 30, 2017
I had a client who had a good manager make a bad decision. The manager (he) was starting to become a little close to a particular female employee. The employee handbook strictly forbid relationships ...
By Dan Cooper
on October 02, 2017
By abolishing any chance of being bored we have also lost the time we used to have to think and process.
By Drew Hiss
on August 28, 2017
Our Acumen community (CEO’s/Owners and their top exec’s) had a unique chance to host and spend time with a very prominent founder and CEO. His retail behemoth now has nearly 800 locations and over ...
By Dan Cooper
on August 21, 2017
Some companies need tweaking. Improve customer service, decrease cost of goods, add a key player … and they experience growth and prosper.
By Dan Cooper
on August 07, 2017
Have you ever been stuck in transition?
By Drew Hiss
on July 31, 2017
I’m a big fan of Patrick Lencioni. His books, teachings, and resources that sharpen leadership effectiveness, enhance teamwork, and accelerate organizational performance are some of the best of all ...
By Drew Hiss
on July 24, 2017
I drive my wife crazy sometimes. One of my pet peeve’s when we travel or dine out is to carefully observe the service experience. As the owner of a couple of service businesses, I’ve always found it ...
By Dan Cooper
on July 10, 2017
An owner I’m working with told me the other day that he “always feels so upside down.” That’s a good way to describe what a lot of owners and CEOs feel.
By Dan Cooper
on July 03, 2017
I had three follow up strategy meetings in three consecutive days with three companies. Two went well, the last one was fine, but it wasn’t the same because of two words. I and me.
By Drew Hiss
on June 26, 2017
I attended a beautiful sunrise service in the Colorado Rockies recently. What was timely and interesting for me personally was the perspective he shared about our human default to create idols.
By Drew Hiss
on June 12, 2017
Hello!
By Dan Cooper
on June 05, 2017
She dropped the ring in the sand.
By Dan Cooper
on May 29, 2017
My 10 yr old son has a bad habit of saying “I know” to almost everything. Even after he’s asked you a question and you give him an answer he’ll belt out “I know.” After he did this to some people not ...
By Dan Cooper
on March 15, 2017
In a world that is all about knowing the answer, solving the problem, tweet storms, and trolls … empathy is becoming a lost art.
By Drew Hiss
on March 01, 2017
Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less- “Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest ...
By Dan Cooper
on February 15, 2017
“Spend twice as much time knowing what you own versus new ideas. What you don’t own can’t hurt you.”